Li Yang

Li Yang
Class Year
Areas of Interest
Previous Education
University of Zurich

Why did you choose to pursue a PhD in your discipline of business?

I’ve always been interested in studying how information plays a role in shaping people’s incentives, beliefs and strategies. Accounting is the perfect playground to observe and research how firms, investors, and regulators interact under the influence of a particular information environment; and how these interactions in turn have an effect on the capital market.

Why did you choose to come to Columbia Business School for a PhD?

For my type of research, CBS accounting has everything I need to succeed. There are established senior faculties in both theory and empirical areas who are leading the direction of development of the field. There are also young aspiring faculty who exploit the state of art methodologies and explore the research frontiers.

What type of research are you exploring?

I’m mainly doing applied theory research in accounting. I use tools from information economics and political economics, then combine them with my institutional knowledge in accounting, to study firms’ disclosure decisions, communication games between manager and shareholders, and accounting standard setting process.

What’s your favorite part of the PhD experience so far?

My favorite part of PhD experience is my interaction with the faculty. They are all extremely knowledgeable and supportive. They not only give me great insights and advice for my research; their passion, rigor and integrity towards research also inspired me to grow into a better researcher.

Which faculty member(s) and/or courses influenced you the most, and how?

I could always learn something new from each faculty I encounter at CBS. I’m really impressed by the way they explain things, their work ethic, and their passion for the field.

What has been your academic experience at CBS? 

My academic experience at CBS has been really fantastic. Not only are the faculty knowledgeable and supportive, but I have also met many fellow students, both from accounting and other disciplines. I enjoy having discussions with them about our research fields and about general social topics. I get to appreciate the diverse cultural backgrounds of the students and I learn so much from them.

What are your future plans and how has your PhD experience translated into growth in your career?

First and foremost, my PhD experience makes me a better thinker. Rather than having a one-sided opinion of things, I learned to take a more nuanced view, trying to understand the objectives and constraints of each party involved. This is valuable no matter what type of job I do in the future. Of course, the training and experience I get from CBS will prepare me to be able to compete on the highest level for academic positions.